News Round-Up: December 18, 2019

Some news items you might have missed:

InstaHunks: Here in Las Vegas, they do things a little differently during the holidays. For instance, a cactus could be used as a Christmas tree. But I could only find this pic (above) of a Chippendale and…what was I saying? Dangit – I know I had some point to make. Oh well 🙂

• The Daily Beast: Stonewall House, the first-ever LGBT-welcoming senior housing development in New York City has officially opened. The first residents are expected to move into the 145-unit building in Brooklyn before Christmas, with the rest of the residents moving in throughout January.

• CNBC: A judge on Wednesday dismissed New York state criminal charges filed against Paul Manafort, the fallen Republican lobbyist who served for several months as President Donald Trump’s campaign chief in 2016. Judge Maxwell Wiley said during a hearing in Manhattan Supreme Court that New York’s double-jeopardy law barred the state indictment against Manafort.

• Medium: Over 1,000 American historians have signed a letter supporting the impeachment of Donald Trump. “It is our considered judgment that if President Trump’s misconduct does not rise to the level of impeachment, then virtually nothing does.”

Reuters: Germany could become the first major European power to ban so-called ‘conversion therapy’ across the entire country. The legislation, which parliament is expected to pass by the summer, will punish violations with imprisonment of up to one year or a fine of up to 30,000 euros ($33,100).

Christmas Music: In its first 12 months, the 1984 all-star charity recording “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” raised £8 million to help efforts to ease famine in Ethiopia. The original recording remains one of the biggest selling singles in UK history.

Illinois: Court Win For Elderly Lesbian In Senior Home Harassment Suit

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of an elderly woman who alleges she was discriminated against and harassed while living in a senior retirement home in Illinois for being lesbian.
Marsha Wetzel of Illinois

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of an elderly lesbian woman who alleges she was discriminated against and harassed while living in a senior retirement home in Illinois.

Marsha Wetzel moved into the Glen St. Andrew Living Community, near Chicago, in 2014 after her longtime partner Judy had died of colon cancer.

In the aftermath of Judy’s passing, Judy’s family did not respect the 30 year relationship. The family took possession of Judy’s assets including the home they’d shared.

And so, Marsha had to find a place to live, and she found Glen St. Andrew.

But by 2016, she was forced to file a lawsuit after she experienced ugly, homophobic abuse at the hands of other residents and Glen St. Andrew did nothing about it.

Marsha says she was called anti-gay slurs and spit upon by residents. In her lawsuit she also alleged that she had been attacked and hit in the head in the community laundry room.

Additionally, she fell and bruised her arm when another resident rammed into her scooter knocking her over.

When Marsha took her concerns to management, nothing was done and she was retaliated against, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Lambda Legal created the heartbreaking video below when Marsha began her legal battle in 2016.

When the case went to trial last year, a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit.

But undeterred, Marsha soldiered on to the 7th Circuit Appeals Court where yesterday a panel of three judges overturned the 2017 ruling and sent the case back to be tried.

The panel came to the conclusion that Glen St. Andrew could be held liable for housing discrimination.

Chief Judge Diane Wood wrote in the ruling, ‘“Not only does it (the Fair Housing Act) create liability when a landlord intentionally discriminates against a tenant based on a protected characteristic; it also creates liability against a landlord that has actual notice of tenant-on-tenant harassment … yet chooses not to take any reasonable steps within its control to stop that harassment.”

The win at the 7th Circuit was celebrated by Lambda Legal senior counsel Karen Loewy, who said in a statement after the ruling, “This is a tremendous victory for Marsha.”

“She, just like all people living in rental housing, whether LGBT or not, should be assured that they will at least be safe from discriminatory harassment in their own homes, “ Loewy continued. “What happened to Marsha was illegal and unconscionable, and the Court has now put all landlords on notice that they have an obligation to take action to stop known harassment.”

A statement released by a Glen St. Andrew spokesperson said while the senior home “is committed to providing fair, safe and non-discriminatory housing, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sex or sexual orientation,” the retirement home still denies the allegations.

“At this stage, the court was required to assume the factual allegations of plaintiff’s complaint were true for purposes of determining the legal issues,” they said in a statement. “Glen St. Andrew strongly denies the factual allegations of the complaint and will present its case in court at the appropriate time.”

San Diego’s First LGBT-Affirming Senior Housing Community Opens

From San Diego’s KPBS:

The North Park Senior Apartments were created in partnership with the San Diego LGBT Community Center. Inside, they have an office to help connect residents with nearby resources.

“You’re always represented by the center as well as our apartment complex,” said Paul Stewart who lives in one of the new units. “To make sure that both sides of whatever is happening or needs to be addressed is heard.”

Developers said this is the first affordable senior housing community designed to support LGBT seniors.

The complex has 75 total units. Rents range from $740 for a studio to $1,150 for a two-bedroom apartment. Stewart moved to the complex from another apartment in North Park.

Podcast: Chile Begins Debate On Marriage Equality; Pink & Channing Tatum Challenge Gender-Norms In “Beautiful Trauma;” LGBT Hate Crimes Double In Russia

In this week’s podcast:

• Chile begins debate on same-sex marriage

• Hate crimes against LGBTs have doubled in five years in Russia

• Democratic senators introduce the LGBT Elder Americans Act

• A growing number of millennial men are more prone to identify as the more fluid “mostly straight” than use the term “bisexual”

• The highly anticipated gay-themed film, “Call Me By Your Name,” leads the 2017 Independent Spirit Awards with six nominations and does great box office in its first week in domestic release.

• Pink and Channing Tatum challenge gender-norms in her new music video, “Beautiful Trauma.”

All that and more on this episode of The Randy Report.

Listen below.

News Round-Up: November 25, 2017

Nyle DiMarco (via Instagram)

Some news items you may have missed:

• ICYMI, Dancing with the Stars/America’s Next Top Model champ Nyle DiMarco served up quite the Thanksgiving meal, but I’m not sure which meat Instagram fans were checking out…

• Four Democratic U.S. senators have introduced the LGBT Elder Americans Act, which seeks to expand services for LGBT seniors. The legislation would designate LGBT seniors as a vulnerable population as well as establish the National Resource on LGBT Aging.

• Authorities estimate that a record 10,000 shiny, happy LGBTs and allies marched in this year’s Hong Kong Pride parade.

• Transgender healthcare facts: 31% of transgender Americans lack access to regular healthcare. 22% of transgender American avoid doctors out of fear of discrimination.

• This Reddit user tells the world he hooked up with a “10,” and since he sees himself as a “6” he couldn’t handle it. I remember experiencing this myself once. Read his story here.

• A new docu-series coming to HBO, 15: A Quinceañera Story, follows five Latina girls from different backgrounds as they celebrate their 15th birthdays. The first segment chronicles the story of Zoey, a transgender girl, who lives in Los Angeles and dedicates her Quinceañera to her trans-godmothers, who never got to have one of their own.

Premieres December 19 on HBO. Watch the trailer below.

Podcast: Talking With Leeza Gibbons On Caregivers For LGBT Seniors

According to AARP,  80% of long-term care for older people in the U.S. is provided by family members like spouses, children, and other relatives.

But LGBT seniors are half as likely as heterosexual counterparts to have close family to lean on for help.

Additionally, studies show that 40% of LGBT older people feel that their support networks become smaller over time, versus compared to 27% of non-LGBT people.

As such, many LGBT older people experience higher rates of social isolation. They are twice as likely to be single and to live alone, and three to four times as likely to be childless.

Where do LGBT elders find support in their golden years?

Emmy Award-winning host and New York Times bestselling author Leeza Gibbons joins me on this episode of The Randy Report to talk about her advocacy on behalf of senior care and caregivers through such partnerships as the one she has with SeniorHelpers.com.

Plus, she shares her path to success and how optimism is her driving force.